Egyptian verb tables

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by londonmasri, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. londonmasri Senior Member

    I would very much appreciate a few verb tables in 3aamiya, I know this might take time, so i was wondering if there is any book that covers these verb tables?
  2. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    Hello Londonmasri and welcome to the forums.

    There are no books (that I know of) specifically devoted to tables of Egyptian verbs, but in many Egyptian Arabic learning books there are brief sections explaining the shapes of Egyptian Arabic verbs. The first book that I learned from has a good explanation of Egyptian Arabic verb shapes. It is called "Colloquial Arabic of Egypt" by Russell McGuirk.

    When I first started out learning EA seven years ago I actually wrote out verb tables of dozens and dozens of verbs in order to help myself learn them.
    I attached a Word document (see bottom of page) with a sampling of some of the verbs. Unfortunately the forum does not allow word documents of more than 48 KB and so I would have to send the rest (about 100 pages worths) as an e-mail attachment. If anyone is interested please send me a PM.

    I included two here so you can get an idea of what my verb paradigms look like. The transliteration is based on the one McGuirk used in his book. The '9' is the ع . The
    'a' is fatHa, 'i' kasra, and 'u' Damma. 'SV' means simple verb, CaCaC is the basic fast tense, verb stem, and the two vowels after it (e.g. 'ii' or 'ia') are the vowel changes that take place in the present tense stem. For example, 'katab' has to fatHas in the past (katab) and two kasras in the present (yiktib).

    1. katab: to write (
    SV Form: CaCaC, ii)
    person____ past ____translation ___present __translation ___imp.____ translation
    (ana) -------katabt ----I wrote --------aktib -------I write --------------------- --
    (inta) -------katabt ----you (m) wrote- tiktib -------you (m) write ---iktib ----Write!
    (inti) --------katabti ---you (f) wrote ---tiktibi ------you (f) write ----iktibi ----Write!
    (huwwa) --- katab ----he wrote -------yiktib ------he writes ------------------ --
    (hiyya)------katabit ---she wrote ------tiktib -------she writes ----------------- --
    (iHna) ------katabna --we wrote ------niktib ------we write ------------------- --
    (intu) -------katabtu ---you (pl) wrote -tiktibu -----you (pl) write---- iktibu ---Write!
    (humma) ---katabu ----they wrote -----yiktibu ----they write ----------- ---------

    14. 9irif: to know (SV Form: CiCiC, ia)
    person____ past ___translation ___present _translation ___imp. ____translation
    (ana) -------9irift ----I know ---------a9raf -----I write --------------------- --
    (inta) -------9irift ----you (m) know-- ti9raf -----you (m) write --ii9raf -----Know!
    (inti) --------9irifti ---you (f)know ----ti9rafi -----you (f) write ---i9rafi -----Know!
    (huwwa) --- 9irif ----he know -------yi9raf -----he writes ------------------ --
    (hiyya)------9irfit ----she know -------ti9raf -----she writes ----------------- --
    (iHna) ------9irifna --we know -------ni9raf -----we write ------------------ --
    (intu) -------9iriftu ---you (pl) know --ti9rafu ----you (pl) write--- i9rafu ---Know!
    (humma) ---9irfu ----they know ------yi9rafu ----they write --------- ----------


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  3. londonmasri Senior Member

    hey Josh thats awesome, id love to get a copy of the verb tables from, Ill send you a pm.

  4. Josh_ Senior Member

    the phrontistery
    U.S., English
    You're welcome.

    I also wanted to mention the nice thing about Arabic is that the verbs are very regular and there is really only a handful of verb patterns. Once you memorize those patterns you will be able to conjugate any verb, even ones you have not seen before.
  5. Katie Crumpet New Member

    hi Josh.

    Could I also have a copy of your verb tables? Thanks =)

    I'm a bit confused though. Are verbs conjugated differently in Egyptian Arabic than they are in other forms of Arabic? For example, one website says that you should pronounce "u" at the end of a 1st person present tense verb (I draw = arsumu). Please advise!!

    Thanks again
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2008
  6. madeinsane New Member

    English - UK
    That's correct. Conjugations do have some similarities but there are a significant number of differences which merit learning the conjugations separately. There are also differences between Arabic dialects (for example on how to form the future or the negative).

    The case you mentioned of the "u" (damma) at the end of "arsamu" is one of the short vowel indicating al-mudari' al-marfu' (indicative present tense) in Modern Standard Arabic. In Egyptian, this is indicated by the prefix bi-, and many of the short vowels indicating tense or grammatical cases of nouns have been lost.

    I hope this helps.
  7. Tory_G New Member

    Actually, there is a book I found on Amazon, specifically for conjugation charts of many Egyptian colloquial verbs.

    It is called "Egyptian Colloquial Arabic Verbs" Conjugations tables and grammar by Matthew Aldrich.
    I attempted to post a link for it, but am getting a message from this forum telling me that I'm not allowed to enclose links. So hopefully you can find it on amazon.

    I bought this book and it is fairly helpful in conjugating verbs, but conversely, it is also somewhat complicated to use. The verbs are divided into different 'measures' based on how they conjugate
    and the reader should understand how to use these measures. The verbs are also cross-referenced under four other groups based on sound, hollow, defective and geminate.

    My big gripe is that aside from the fact that the author does NOT explain these 'measures'; he lists verbs in the index that are not necessarily conjugated in the book. But he'll conjugate another verb
    that shares the same conjugation pattern as the one listed in the index. For example, in the index you might find "Speak" كلم and it will list the conjugation patter as 2s2, but when you look up the 2s2
    conjugation pattern, you'll find the conjugation pattern for "To Complete" (كمّل) which shares the same conjugation pattern as "To Speak". A bit peculiar of a method, especially if you don't have the luxury
    of having a teacher at your disposal to explain these things.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  8. tr463 Senior Member

    Hi Tory_G, thanks for the info!

    From what I've seen, it does look a bit complicated and I was initially turned off that the words are transliterated but I believe it's more so in the workbook rather than the actual book (which is nice).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2013
  9. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    "Colloquial Arabic : the living language of Egypt" by T.F. Mitchell (Teach yourself books) has verb tables, and it is very reliable.

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